Living Under The Cloud of Depression
Febuary 03, 2011


Living Under the Cloud of Depression

 

It was the worst two years of my life. I was 30 years old, married to a wonderful wife; I had two lovely children and a good job. On the surface everything in life was going well for us. Then suddenly, on Boxing Day 1990 the dark cloud of depression descended and our lives were turned upside down. I, who rarely showed my emotions, was weeping like a baby.  I, who used to be so confident, was filed with fears and anxieties.  I, who used to be so jovial and full of fun, was overcome with a deep indescribable sadness.  I, who used to be so ambitious and positive, found that all my thoughts were negative and life seemed no longer worth living. Whereas I used to love meeting people now I ran upstairs and hid in the bedroom when the doorbell rang, not wanting to see anyone. On top of all this there were the profound feelings of guilt – surely a Christian and especially a Christian minister shouldn’t be feeling like this - and of having let everyone down. I increasingly felt as though I was a burden to people, a burden that they could do without. It’s little wonder that, like so many suffering from depression, I felt like ending it all.

 

That is what life was like for me some twenty years ago.  It affected not only me, but also my wife and wider family circle. Without their support, the support of my fellow Christians and most of all God’s preserving grace, I doubt if I would be writing this article today. Thankfully the dark cloud that engulfed me back then is gone. Yes there are times when the cloud returns but thankfully it is no longer black, merely a sort of grey colour and it only hovers around for a day or two because I have learned how to deal with it.

 

Over 300,000 people in Ireland suffer from depression.  Perhaps you are, or someone near and dear to you is, one of those sufferers.  What can you do about it?  As one who knows exactly how you feel I would encourage you to seek help.   Talk to your doctor or to someone who is qualified to give you good advice.  It may be that your depression is rooted in a medical condition for which you need properly prescribed drugs. However, not all depression has a medical cause.  Depression can also be caused by physical exhaustion coupled with mental stress. Sometimes depression can be triggered by among other things deep seated fears and worries or by relationship problems. .  As a pastor who has both experienced depression and counselled people who have had depression I have discovered that often (more often than people are willing to admit) the problem has a spiritual cause.  A Christian from a former age named Augustine once said “You O God have made us for yourself and our souls are restless until they find their rest in you”   

 

This week we in our church are beginning a new form of ministry in our community. We have called it “Wits-End Ministries. This ministry is aimed at people who, for whatever reason feel as though they are at their wits-end and need help. We are willing to meet with you and to listen and give whatever help and advice we can. I know I wasn’t able to cope with the darkness of depression on my own. Don’t you try

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